I’m no longer allowed to tell my husband where to go
By: By CHRIS MENEES Messenger Staff Reporter
Her name is “Mandy” and she’s perfect.
Mandy is the sultry voice on the portable GPS car navigation system my husband chose for himself for Christmas.
He could have picked the male voice of “Kevin” but instead chose Mandy over manly. He thinks she has a pleasant voice when she politely tells him where to go.
Anyway, my husband often seeks Mandy’s advice and never hesitates to ask her for directions when he’s driving. She’s always right when she answers in her cheerful little voice.
Unlike me, Mandy never waits until the last second and shouts, “Turn now, turn now,” or sheepishly says, “Uh-oh, I think we should have turned back there” as she points backward and struggles with a crinkled upside-down map while zipping down the highway.
Even when Mandy instructs him to turn and he doesn’t, she immediately maps a different route and just goes with the flow by offering new directions. Never — I mean not even once — have I heard her utter anything hateful like, “I said turn back there, you moron,” or “Hey, Nimrod, slow down, you’re going to miss your turn.”
And, of course, she’s the ideal woman to take on a road trip. She never complains about the temperature in the car and never has to stop for a bathroom break.
The newness of the new toy hasn’t quite worn off yet and Mandy goes just about everywhere with us — even if it’s from our home in Woodland Mills to the grocery store or to the library or on any other route we’ve taken umpteen times. The granddaughters sometimes even ask about Mandy if they notice she’s not perched on the dash.
On one recent outing when my husband haphazardly ventured out without his new “girlfriend” and I sarcastically remarked, “Gee, I hope we can find our way back home without Mandy,” it elicited from my better half an evil eye that I affectionately refer to as “the look.”
As a result of my sarcasm, there are certain rules regarding Mandy. First and foremost, because I’m also electronically-challenged, I’m not even allowed to touch Mandy. I’m reduced to keeping an oversized atlas and several poorly-folded road maps behind my driver’s seat.
I know, I know — green’s not my color. I’ll admit I’m slightly jealous and it drives me a little crazy (driving pun intended) that magnificent Mandy is my husband’s constant travel companion and sometimes even gets the privilege of riding on his knee. And I was only mildly concerned when I got into the car one day to hear the Barry Manilow tune “Mandy” blaring loudly from the speakers as my husband cradled the portable GPS in his hands and lovingly gazed at her — uh, I mean “it.”
On the flip side, though, just think of the arguments that could have been prevented if we’d gotten Mandy sooner. Think how many times we might have actually still been speaking to one another after arriving at some far-off destination with somewhat frazzled nerves or how many times I could have avoided “the look” as I foolishly suggested we pull over and ask for directions. (Honestly, what was I thinking?)
So what if I’ve been replaced as my husband’s co-pilot and chief navigator by a female (of sorts) whom he’ll actually ask to give him directions? I’m glad to give up those responsibilities. It’s less stress.
I think I still have job security at home — at least until marvelous Mandy learns how to cook or clean or do laundry.
But when it comes to traveling, from here on out, I’m just along for the ride.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 1.25.08